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----- 08.30.2006 --------
Google never ceases to amaze me. Everyone in a while it's key to check out Google Labs. Tonight I found a couple pretty cool new tools: Google Page Creator and Google Trends. Those folks are amazing! So if you are at all interested in making web pages, this tool is awesome, online, and easy to use. And even better? Free hosting with your google account! And by easy, check out this page. No effort necessary.... and in the case of my page, sure, it shows, but for the sake of an example... not really! Anyway... that's it for this post... back to playing in Google Labs. And then it's off to Algonquin again this weekend for some Labour Day fun :) Cheers everyone, and have a safe & fun long weekend!

----- 08.24.2006 --------

No, it's no my birthday. Yet. However... it is coming up September 8th and I did get a gift early from Jen. A new camera! But not just any camera.... a digital SLR. I've been drooling over them forever now, and now I finally have one. Look out, cause my pics section is about to get better :) I went with the Sony Alpha 100 (AKA a100) DSLR. Here's a great in-depth review on the camera. I must have read it 2 or 3 times before purchasing the camera, along with many others. All of them said the same... a lot of noise at higher ISO's. But that seems to be the only flaw in the camera. And that flaw is not one that I'll come across in 99% of my photo applications. I've also heard that better lens' can correct the problem too, as well as using your PC to process the RAW image instead of the camera's "Boinz" processor. Since I only got the camera yesterday, I haven't had too much chance to shoot with it, but what I have shot, has amazed me! I love! And for the the price point in this dSLR market, I don't think you can go wrong. So... stay tuned... I should have some great pics coming your way. We're going camping Labour day with Dave & Cheralin, that should provide a lot of photo ops :) Later...

----- 08.20.2006 --------
Summer's fast passing me by. Or maybe it's not "passing me by", but it sure is going by fast! It's been a great summer though! No complaints :) This weekend was Jen's work's "Activity Day" at Ontario Place. Yesterday we walked down to Ontario place, enjoy burgers & dogs for lunch, went on a log ride, then checked out the Ex. It was pretty fun! The Ex was the same trap it always is. Tons of enticing deals at all the shops in the pavillion, but I stayed strong and kept my wallet burried in my pocket! Yes, I could use a new fancy stove top grill or an impressive sweeper/squeegee. And yes, 2 for 1 is a great deal.... but do I need one? Or even 2? Not really. We got enough crap around the apartment to worry about getting rid of before we start loading it up with more! I was quite proud of myself... I've always been quite a sucker for the "as seen on TV" specials! ;)

After we walked home from the Ex, we chilled for a couple hours then hopped on the TTC and headed North up to Davisville station. We met Dave & Cheralin and some friends at the "Bow and Arrow" pub to celebrate Cheralin's birthday. I drank an apricot beer all night. It tasted great, but after too many, it didn't sit too well! Too sweet maybe. Needless to say, today was a bit of a write-off. We watched a couple movies: "Scary Movie 4" and "Outdoorsman". Outdoorsman is an event a group of guys who are all buddies came up with in Washington. This was the 14th annual event. Every year they go an do this event. And it requires a TON of beer! It looked like a LOT of fun! So much fun that I think I should organize one for me and my buddies next year. Instead of "the outdoorsmen challenge", we'll have to come up with another name and make it a tradition! Sounds like fun! Pain... but fun! For more info or if you would like to help me organize it or participate, check out The Official Outdoorsmen Website. Anyway, that's all for now. Just going to relax, get to bed early, and prepare for another fast week @ work to blow by. It seems they are going fast and faster every year!

----- 08.12.2006 --------
Last night we had a couple of friends come over for another great dinner put on by Jen. Dave and Angela came by, we ate, we drank, played some DDR.... a fun night :) This morning I got up, cleaned up a bit and looked outside and said "Hey, this is too nice a day NOT to be blading!". I called a few people and left messages, but there was no one home. Mostly likely outside because today is one of the best days of summer. Warm & sunny, but not too hot with a great gentle breeze coming off the lake. In one last attempt, I went down the hall to one of my neighbours to see if he bladed. No blades, but he has a bike. Before long, we were on our way. It's been WAY too long since I've bladed. I blame it on the heat and busy schedule... but in reality, those are just excuses. You can't make time... you must take it. So we went down to Humber bridge & back, the usual 16.7KM stretch. It was a little tough at times, but for having not bladed in over 2 months, I was happy with it. My speedometer watch isn't working... hopefully its just the batteries. Hopefully I can fix it and be out a lot more often to beat last year's blade-o-meter. I have no hopes of hitting the 500 KM mark, and I knew that based on last year's pathetic performance, but hopefully I can atleast exceed the 200 KM mark. We'll see... it's going to take some week nights to do it. I should probably trade gym time for blade time anyway to get my cardio up and my weight down. Anyway... all's well over here in Rob's world. Hope your worlds are tickety-boo as well :) Cheers!

----- 08.10.2006 --------
What a busy summer it's been! You can tell by my updates (or more precisely, the fewer updates) that time's flying! This past weekend I took Friday off and took a train down to Windsor on Thursday evening. Friday was my buddy Kevin's wedding. He & Franca had a beautiful wedding followed by a delicious meal at the Caboto club and some wedding night partying :)

Saturday morning, as rough as I felt, I got up and my Dad, my sister Laura (who was even rougher then I was!) and I made our way to London. We were off to London to "finish" my sister Nicole's basement. And by "finish", I mean start. It's an unfinished basement and we were putting in framing, and if time permitted, we'd get to the drywalling too. We worked hard all weekend and almost had the framing done by Sunday night. Monday, which was a holiday, we began working again when tragedy hit. My Dad, who's leg has been bugging him with a limp for the past month and change, had a stumble gone wrong. I somehow picked him up off the floor and got him on to a bed when the problem became quite apparent. He broke his femur! (thigh bone). The paramedics were there in no time and administered him some morphine. Although I can't believe how tough he was before the shot of morphine... I can't imagine what kind of pain he went through!!! Actually, I can from other injuries, but nothing ever that serious! We got him up from the basement on a stretcher then into the one on wheels! He was out to the ambulance and off to the hospital. I took full advantage of the sympathy from neighbours and gladly accepted their help to bring the rest of the sheets of drywall down to the basement! 50 sheets... and I managed 12 on my own the night before. There's no way I was going to manage the rest alone! In no time, we finished bringing it down. Of course it helped to be riding on a huge adreneline rush after seeing what happened to my Dad!!! Laura and I kept it together and kept working to finish the framing. Afterwards, we went to the hospital to visit him and then I was off to catch a train back to Toronto.

As of last night, my Dad was transferred to another hospital in London. Fortunately, that's where all the surgical expertise is! If this had happened in Windsor, he'd have to be tranported to London anyway. Tonight I should hear from my Mom to find out if he had the surgery or not yet. After that, it's 5 - 7 days in the hospital and then he's realised, supposedly able to walk with a walker. 6 weeks of therapy later, we're hoping he'll have graduated to a cane. Please say a prayer for him.

And that brings us to last night. I went with a buddy from work, Peter, to go see "A Scanner Darkly". It was pretty awesome! And the animation was well done... very trippy! I'm still not sure what the movie meant, but I look forward to seeing it again to fill in the pieces and pick up the nuances I would have missed first time through. Apparantely there are quite a few! After the movie ended around 11:30 PM, I made my way into the office to burn some midnight oil patching servers. There's a new vulnerability for Windows (MS06-040) that has a high risk factor of getting quite nasty if the right exploit is crafted for it. Better safe then sorry! Well... I guess that's all for now. Some friends Dave (a former co-op of mine!) and his new wife (but long time girlfriend) Angela are coming over for dinner. And then on the weekend at some point I'll be going to London to visit my Dad and hopefully cheer him up. Hope you're all doing well. Cheers!

----- 08.01.2006 --------
First of all, since this is a new month and the latest post from July was archived, my pics are posted from my Algonquin canoe trip a week & change ago. Click here for my pics page. So, what's so exciting? Yesterday morning I woke up to get ready for work and take Trixie out when I saw on City TV that there was a home invasion that in a building that looked very much like my own. Sure enough, it was! I take Trix down and there are squad cars everywhere! After she does her business, I'm told I can't go back up because ETF are doing their sweeps. So I waste some time with an anxious Trix (she gets her treat in the morning after her business is done) and 45 minutes later, ETF emerges. That's the Canadian equivalent to SWAT, for all you US readers. And they were armed to the teeth! The first guy of about 6 or 8 our had a shotgun with a little mirror on the end. The next 2 were carrying a battering ram, and the others just had cool weapons and gear! No news has emerged since and all the news sources seemed to make up their own stories. What it sounds like was 5 armed men got into a condo on the 7th floor, 3 below me, and beat & tied up 5 others. I guess they locked them out on the balcony and the neighbour below heard something and called 911. I'm really anxious to hear what happened! Anyway, according to these news sources, their stories were as follows (and hopefully their links keep working): CityNews, CBC and Toronto Star. Am I worried? No. I don't know what it was all about... but there's no way it was random! Anyway.... it was something to start my day off with some excitement ;). Speaking of excitement... it's a pretty boring night tonight, early, and I'm tired. That means bed! G'nite!


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